Gateley Onboards Perenami Momodu and Fidal hires Manuel Tomas to target African Dispute Practice
They were serving at Aelex Legal and Foley Hoag
With plans of gaining traction, London-listed Gateley and French firm Fidal have stepped up their Africa coverage by making senior arbitration hires. While Gateley recruited Perenami Momodu to lead its Africa practice in Nigeria, Fidal hired Manuel Tomas to head its international arbitration practice.
Momodu served at the West African firm Aelex Legal for 11 years, entering partnership in 2020, whereas Tomas was working with Foley Hoag.
Momodu acted for major Nigerian and international clients, including an exploration and production company in an arbitration worth $40m.
She is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and the Young Arbitrators and ADR Forum-ICC.
Her arrival aims to support Gateley’s sectoral interests across the oil and gas, infrastructure, technology, fintech, construction, investments, and renewable energy sectors, as she has advised corporates on issues ranging from insolvency to foreign direct investment and labor laws to dispute resolution.
In 2019, Momodu received a Special Recognition Award from the Federal Republic of Nigeria for her involvement in Nigeria’s proposed insolvency reforms.
Richard Healey, the head of business services at Gateley said the move was part of the firm’s commitment. “It will enhance our existing capabilities within international arbitration and disputes, particularly in fast-growing economies, including Africa and the Middle East.”
Momodu will work closely with London-based partners Michael Lightfoot and Kieran McCarthy, who joined Gateley as co-heads of international arbitration last September, and Dubai-based legal director Tonderai Nyandoro.
Lightfoot expressed, “Momodu has several years of experience in high-profile disputes work in Nigeria and across Africa.”
Momodu added that she will support the increasing number of business links and investments being made between the UK and African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana. With her Nigerian location, she will help the firm implement its Africa strategy and broaden her international arbitration expertise in the UK and the Middle East.